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Nearly Two billion boost for business

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Business is saving an estimated 1.9 billion a year in time and money, according to the latest progress report from the Government's programme to cut red tape.

The report sets out 240 measures to date that Government is taking to make regulation simpler for businesses, charities and the public sector. It also shows that government is on track to meet the target of cutting the administrative cost of regulation by 25 per cent by 2010, that will deliver an estimated 3.4 billion a year in savings.

Stephen A. Carter, Minister for Regulatory Reform, said:

"This is a welcome estimated 1.9 billion boost for businesses in these challenging times, saving time and money when it is most needed.

"Delivering better, more efficient, regulation should strike the right balance between providing essential protections and not stifling business and harming the prospects for economic growth. And smart regulation can play a vital role in creating a better economic environment for business now and in the future."

The business community, focusing on the top delivery measures, has helped examine in detail and agree with the impact measures are having on businesses. Their validation represents approximately 80 per cent of the savings estimated to date.

The report captures the cross-Government efforts that are touching all sectors, delivering innovative solutions and making life easier for businesses. Measures outlined include:

* employment guidance - providing simple online guidance and forms on employment law that is saving business more than 400 million a year;
* quality protocols - an Environment Agency and WRAP (Waste & Resources Action Programme) led initiative funded by Defra that is turning waste into profit;
* new health and safety example risk assessments - helping a wide range of businesses with step by step guides to handle risks in the workplace and protect workers and consumers; and
* a computerised Food Surveillance System - removing the need for paper records when sample testing food and boosting the speed of a response to improve consumer protection.

The drive to simplify existing regulations is helping to change the way Government thinks about regulation. The programme has also identified new ways to make life easier and not just for businesses. The Department of Work and Pensions is leading a major cross-Government initiative designed to cut the number of times that citizens needs to speak to government and tell them about changes of circumstances, such as birth or bereavement, called simply Tell Us Once.

The Government's programme focuses on reducing the administrative burden when complying with regulations but there are a wide range of other costs associated with regulations that Government is helping to cut. The report details additional annual savings of more than 800 million. For example, better targeted safety inspections for goods vehicles and passenger transport are saving the industry about 100 million a year.

Notes

1. The total annual net savings delivered by the cross-Government simplification programme at December 2008 is an estimated 1.9 billion, which represents 14.4 per cent of the 25 per cent target, meaning that nearly 60 per cent of the target has been achieved. In 2007 the Government reported an estimated 800 million in annual net savings.

2. The Better Regulation Executive, within the Department for Business, published a summary report "Making Your Life Simpler" along side each of the 19 Government Departments and agencies that also produce reports detailing their progress against the Administrative Burdens Reduction Programme (ABRP). The summary report, with links to all of the individual reports, will be available at http://www.berr.gov.uk/wha twedo/bre/index.html

3. In 2005 the Government undertook an analysis of around 1,400 regulations and the 20,000 separate requirements they place on business and the third sector. Based on this work it is estimated that the total administrative burden on business in 2005 was 13.2 billion annually. The Government then set a target to reduce this by 25 per cent which will mean delivering an estimated 3.4 billion in annual savings by May 2010. Government Departments and agencies that are responsible for these regulations were set their own individual reduction target of 25 per cent and they produce an annual "Simplification Plan" report each year in December detailing their progress towards their target.

4. The Administrative Burden Reduction Programme uses the Standard Cost Model methodology which is an internationally recognised approach, recommended by the Better Regulation Commission and supported by the business community. It provides an understanding of the landscape of regulatory cost as the basis for deciding where to focus effort on simplification. To keep the measurement of burdens and savings practical, the methodology uses small sample sizes and so is indicative rather than statistically robust; as a result, the reported figures for the administrative burden reductions achieved are also indicative.

Department for Business, Enterprise & Regulatory Reform
7th Floor, 1 Victoria Street, London SW1H 0ET

Public enquiries +44 (0)20 7215 5000
Textphone +44 (0)20 7215 6740 (for those with hearing impairment)
http://www.berr.gov.uk


About the Author

Crown Copyright. Material taken from the BERR- Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform replacing DTI - Department for Trade and Industry. Reproduced under the terms and conditions of the Click-Use Licence.


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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2008-12-10 09:51:17 in Business Articles

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